I am reading this passage in a book called Overland to China (1900) which on page 66 makes mention of a Tiursk tribe in Central Asia.

Overland to China (1900)

Online searches didn't provide much details except referencing/associating other groups to the Tiursk.

Language of the Jakuts belongs to the Tiursk nationalities. (see OnlineLibrary.Wiley.com)

My guess is that it's a Russian word form for Turk/Turkic. But I want to be sure because the google translation is not the same.

  • 1
    if its the book by Archibald Ross Colquhoun, he appears to have been a South African living more than a century ago, so its quite possible he just didn't spell "Turkish" the way modern Americans and Englishmen do.
    – T.E.D.
    Apr 18, 2021 at 15:20
  • 2
    @T.E.D. also Tiursk, as mentioned in an answer below, is most likely a spelling derived from the Russian pronunciation of 'Turkish' (Тюркские → Tiurkskiy )
    – d.k
    Apr 19, 2021 at 7:10
  • 1
    This is most likely 'Turkish tribe(s)' but derived from the Russian pronunciation
    – d.k
    Apr 19, 2021 at 7:11
  • 1
    @DmitryKoroliov - I'm pretty sure from context its not talking about one tribe.
    – T.E.D.
    Apr 19, 2021 at 12:44

3 Answers 3


Your link to the Jakut article holds what I would consider fairly strong evidence. The article (all emphasis mine) specifies that by

features, as well as by their language, the Jakuts belong to the Tiursk nationalities.

We can look to the wiki article on the Jakuts and find that

The Yakut language belongs to the Siberian branch of the Turkic languages.

Another older work, The Polar World: a Popular Description of Man and Nature in the Arctic and Antarctic Regions of the Globe By Georg Hartwig, published in 1859, has a chapter on the Jakuts. This also mentions this language connection to the Turkic people:

Though of a Mongolian physiognomy their language which is said to be intelligible at Constantinople distinctly points to a Turk extraction and their traditions speak of their original seats as situated on the Baikal and Angora whence retreating before more powerful hordes they advanced to the Lena where in their turn they dispossessed the weaker tribes which they found in possession of the country.

Considering the language connection, and the use of the term nationalities indicating something more widespread than a single tribe, I would conclude the term was indicating a Turkic peoples.


The Russian Wikipedia article for Turkic languages is titled Тюркские языки (t-iu-r-k-s-k-i-ie ...), which imho makes it very likely that Tiursk should be read as Turk or Turkic. If you can accept that с and к being out of sequence (or one к missing) is just a clerical error.

The center of the first Turkic state was east of the Khangai mountains, which is something like 500 kilometers south of the Sayan mountains and lake Baikal. Don't get fooled by the large djstance between lake Baikal and the modern state of Turkey!

  • 2
    Or just elision of one of the к's.
    – Spencer
    Apr 18, 2021 at 14:03
  • Yes, that is also possible
    – Jan
    Apr 18, 2021 at 14:04

"Irghana-Kon" mentioned in the cited Overland to China is actually the mythical Ergenekon. And so "Tiursk tribe" should probably refer to Turkic peoples.

  • 2
    Why do you assert that Irghana-Kon is Ergenekon? On what basis?
    – MCW
    Apr 19, 2021 at 16:35
  • @MarkC.Wallace per the linked Wikipedia page, mythical Ergenekon was a valley ringed on all sides by high mountains, and it was the cradle of the Turkic peoples.
    – Kevin Troy
    Apr 19, 2021 at 20:50
  • I have also read previously about Ergenekon, but what I read is that the myth is also shared by Mongols and Chinese. Not much credible information appears to be available on this myth/idea.
    – Samid
    Apr 25, 2021 at 8:06
  • @Samid This book doesn't appear as credible source either. The author simpy tells some variation of that myth.
    – Matt
    Apr 25, 2021 at 8:50

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